These League of Legends tips are geared toward beginners and novices at the game who’re looking to improve their skill in the game.
League of Legends (LoL) is the most popular free to play MOBA game in the world currently and was created by Riot Games. Currently the game is only playable on Microsoft Windows and macOS. In LoL, players pick from over 139 different playable characters called “champions”- all of which have different abilities, play styles, strengths and weaknesses. Then the player is put into a team of 3-5 players and the goal is to destroy the opponent’s nexus building.
1. Pick One or Two Champions
Pick one or two champions that you really enjoy playing and master them. The reason you’ll want to do this is just to learn the core gameplay mechanics without having to re-learn a whole new set of abilities every other game. If you’re unsure what items to buy for that champion, google the champion’s name followed by “build”. Once you get comfortable with a champion/lane then you can start trying other ones out.
With over 135 champions in the game, it may take a while, but you’ll find a champion that fits your play style. If you really can’t find a champion that you like enough to play almost every game, you may want to try a mode like ARAM. This mode randomizes what champion you can play based on which champions you own / are free to play for that week. The matches are generally shorter, more fast paced and less pressure.
2. Learn How To Last Hit
Last hitting is a vital skill for any LoL player, especially for maintaining creep score (CS). If a creep dies without having been killed (last hit) by the player, the player will only receive a small amount of exp if they’re nearby. When you get the last hit, however, you’ll receive more exp and gold which is used to buy items from the shop to make your champion more powerful.
3. Pushing, Freezing and Zoning
Pushing – is a tactic where you will auto attack and use abilities on the creeps to clear the wave faster in order to have your creeps push towards the enemy tower. The purpose of this is to have the enemy tower kill your creeps, which denies your opponent exp and gold.
Freezing – the opposite of pushing, the player will only get the very last hit on creeps in order to “freeze” the wave of enemy creeps in an advantageous spot. If the enemy creeps clear out your creeps you may also want to tank a few creep hits until your next wave arrives. This can be used to freeze the creep waves right by your tower, making it harder to be ganked and/or killed. Freezing can also be used to build a large creep wave which can be very useful.
Zoning – zoning is just exerting pressure on your laning opponent by standing/moving in such a way that they can’t get close enough to the creeps to last hit. For example, a ranged champion will have no problem zoning a melee champion preventing them from ever getting enough gold to be useful.
4. Use Wards Properly
Vision is a major factor in every match and you’ll want to make sure you are using the right wards depending on what you’re up against. There are a few different ways to ward so you’ll have to decide for yourself which one is best. There’re wards you get from your trinket that recharges and wards you can buy from the shop that have one use per ward. There’re also wards that reveal stealthed traps/wards and camouflaged champions. If you’re up against a champion like Teemo, you’ll want the control ward to be able to remove his mushroom traps and see if he has gone invisible. In this case you’ll also want to be buying normal vision wards in order to protect yourself from the jungler or other lanes ganking you.
5. Watch the Map
Map and game awareness are very important skills you’ll want to start developing right away and to do so, you just need to keep playing and practicing. Game awareness is just a player’s ability to “guess” where the enemies are at/going to be without knowing for sure. Map awareness is a player’s ability to quickly look at and read the map to allow themselves to more accurately “guess” what’s going on. You’ll want to force yourself to look at the map at least every 10-20 seconds at first until you get comfortable with it and it becomes habit. A lot of information can be gathered from always looking at the map. You may see someone get revealed by a ward and can warn your teammates. Or you may see no one at all which can be even more terrifying because it could mean the other team is doing a major objective such as the dragon, baron or the rift herald.
6. Learn the Phases
There’s about three major phases to every league of legends match and you’ll be able to predict them as you get more familiar with the game.
Laning Phase – This is the first 8-10 minutes of the game (give or take) where everyone is in their respective lanes farming/fighting. During this phase you can usually expect that the only outside threat you’ll face is the enemy jungler.
Roaming Phase – This phase is not so much a phase as much as it is a tactic. This usually happens once the first outer tower in a lane has been destroyed. For example, if you take the first tower in top lane, your creeps can now push further which gives you time to gank/roam to other places on the map. You could counter-jungle, gank a lane, kill an objective, set up a trap or just apply pressure by walking into a lane.
Team Fight Phase – This is the end-game phase where players group up in order to fight and win the game. This isn’t to say you can’t still roam to another lane to push or do objectives, but the main focus of this phase is to force the other team to group up to fight your team. Once you win you either all push to take towers/inhibitors/nexus or you go and kill a major objective like Baron to get the buff.
7. Play Other Modes Like ARAM
There are a handful of other maps and game modes to try out and they can help you learn and grow as a player just as well. ARAM for example pits two teams against each other on a one lane bridge, but the catch is everyone is assigned a random champion. You receive most of your gold from passive gold generation and killing other players, so you don’t have to worry about farming creeps that much. In this mode you can simply focus on learning how to position yourself well, how to be useful in team fights and just overall combat practice.
8. Take a Break if You Get Tilted
You’re going to have bad games, bad match-ups and bad teammates eventually. They may even start to “flame”, or berate, you in the chat. Reversely, you may feel like calling them out on their failed attempt at a play and “flame” them. This is going to have a huge negative impact on your overall mood and it’s important to take a break when you start feeling like this. Some might unwind by going outside, exercising, watching a video or jumping into a game of ARAM with some good music going. Whatever you do to relax, you’ll definitely be glad you did.
9. Watch Professionals Play
League of Legends is still one of the most popular games on Twitch.tv at the moment. There are countless people playing at any given time and many of them are very good. When you’re not able to play or if you’re tilted, go watch them play and copy what they’re doing.
10. Change Your Settings
Make sure the settings you’re using aren’t going to hurt your chances of improving at the game. There are setting for how ability usage work such as Quick Casting. The time it takes you to press the spell key, aim and then left click to cast the spell is too long. You can still use quick cast + range indicators until you get comfortable with the range of certain abilities. You’ll also want to make sure your camera isn’t permanently locked on your character. You want to be able to quickly swipe your mouse to move your camera around when in game, you can still quickly snap back to your champion by hitting the space bar by default. The main reasons to unlock your camera is you’ll have more awareness and be able to see further to better aim your abilities. Read and play around with all the settings and if you’re confused, just google it.